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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #1
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Review of HPX2700 Varicam

This past week Panasonic let me test their new HPX2700 Varicam - you can read my initial review here

Panasonic HPX2700 Varicam Review (SLM Production Group)

enjoy.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 12:25 PM   #2
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That's an excellent overview, Seth -- thanks for posting this!
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Old October 29th, 2008, 12:55 PM   #3
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Very thorough, thanks. Only real question I have with the 2700 is how well it'll hold up to 1080 cameras and big screens. Would be nice to see some comparisons with say PDW700, HDW790 etc., as a comparison to the HPX500 was never going to reveal much!
First review I've seen of the new Varicams though, so much appreciated.
Steve
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Old October 29th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #4
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Hi Seth:

Thank you so much for the review. A few questions that were not addressed in your review...

1. How is the LCD? Is it the same as the HVX/HPX or is it significantly better? I would hope for $40k that Panasonic could spring for something more along the lines of the EX1/EX3 LCD?

2. It is disappointing that they could not have integrated four XLRs and four level controls since the P2 format supports them and so many of us would use that feature. I do a lot of shoots with 3-4 talent on camera and those extra channels would come in very handy. P2 is begging for a camera that supports four audio channels at full rez (at least 48Khz/16 bit). The cards have plenty of bandwidth to support it.

3. Any indication of what street price will be on this camera?

4. Do you have any recommendations on specific lenses that support the CAC function?

I am pitching some shows and may be required to shoot 2/3" on some of them so I am considering two cameras. I am investigating whether the massive amount of extra cash that this camera would require over the HPX500s for me. I know this camera is significantly better but I am also not sure if it would be worth 3 or 4 times as much money for my needs. After all, budgets are much lower these days and the 500 is no slouch.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Very thorough, thanks. Only real question I have with the 2700 is how well it'll hold up to 1080 cameras and big screens. Would be nice to see some comparisons with say PDW700, HDW790 etc., as a comparison to the HPX500 was never going to reveal much!
First review I've seen of the new Varicams though, so much appreciated.
Steve
Hi Steve:

Barry Braveman's review has been up for a few months here Review: Panasonic AJ-HPX2700

He does discuss the 1080 look and feel and the comparison between a native 720 camera and 1080, 2k and 4k. I agree with Barry, very few viewers are very discerning of quality, it is more us that are concerned. Many of the top rated shows on cable are shot on outdated prosumer cams and still pull in great ratings and millions of dollars of revenues. For filmmaking, that is a whole different ballgame but for episodic television (non narrative), the 2700 looks to be a major contender. The only reason I see for shooting RED is RAW and 35mm depth of field. Other than those two issues, it seems that the 2700 would be the ideal camera. Add a killer lens though and yikes, we are we at $50 or $60k? Hmm...

Dan
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:17 PM   #6
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Cheers Dan.
Here in the UK DS Video has it listed at 22,750. Welcome to DS Video - Search for products
Steve
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Very thorough, thanks. Only real question I have with the 2700 is how well it'll hold up to 1080 cameras and big screens. Would be nice to see some comparisons with say PDW700, HDW790 etc., as a comparison to the HPX500 was never going to reveal much!
First review I've seen of the new Varicams though, so much appreciated.
Steve
Not sure what you are asking here - it is a true 1080 full rastor 10 bit camera
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Hi Seth:

Thank you so much for the review. A few questions that were not addressed in your review...

1. How is the LCD? Is it the same as the HVX/HPX or is it significantly better? I would hope for $40k that Panasonic could spring for something more along the lines of the EX1/EX3 LCD?

2. It is disappointing that they could not have integrated four XLRs and four level controls since the P2 format supports them and so many of us would use that feature. I do a lot of shoots with 3-4 talent on camera and those extra channels would come in very handy. P2 is begging for a camera that supports four audio channels at full rez (at least 48Khz/16 bit). The cards have plenty of bandwidth to support it.

3. Any indication of what street price will be on this camera?

4. Do you have any recommendations on specific lenses that support the CAC function?

I am pitching some shows and may be required to shoot 2/3" on some of them so I am considering two cameras. I am investigating whether the massive amount of extra cash that this camera would require over the HPX500s for me. I know this camera is significantly better but I am also not sure if it would be worth 3 or 4 times as much money for my needs. After all, budgets are much lower these days and the 500 is no slouch.

Thanks,

Dan
1- lcd seems about the same - maybe a bit better but to be honest i didnt notice.
2- totally agree - especially since the 500 has 4 independent inputs and channels
3- No - i just know the MSRP is just under 40K
4- Not specifically although they are started to have the high end lenses with CAC Files to further improve them.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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Cheers Dan.
Here in the UK DS Video has it listed at 22,750. Welcome to DS Video - Search for products
Steve
Ouch, $37,339.00, that's not much of a discount off of MSRP. I am sure that this camera is hot too, perhaps after six months we will see a price drop. Who knows?

Thanks,

Dan
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Seth Melnick View Post
1- lcd seems about the same - maybe a bit better but to be honest i didnt notice.
2- totally agree - especially since the 500 has 4 independent inputs and channels
3- No - i just know the MSRP is just under 40K
4- Not specifically although they are started to have the high end lenses with CAC Files to further improve them.
Thanks Seth.

1. This is their second to the top of the line flagship camera. The excuse was that on the HPX170 and HVX200, because both shoot in SD, the LCD needed to be SD, but since the 2700 only shoots HD, having a super low resolution blurry LCD is unacceptable to me. I would think that ENG and EFP people who do run and gun would be pretty unhappy about that. Guess I would have to also factor in the cost of an SDI 8" monitor to sit atop it. It's not the cost, its the weight and extra space needed. The EX1 and EX3 prove that it is possible to create a higher resolution more useful LCD at price points that are less than 1/4 of the price of the 2700. Not a dealbreaker but very disappointing if it is the same LCD that my 170 has. Good to hear that the VF is excellent, good consolation prize.
2. At this budget, only two audio channels just doesn't make sense to me at all.
3. It will be interesting to see the price points in the U.S. market
4. Budget-wise, you are looking at $20,000.00 to $30,000.00 for a "good" higher-end lens for this camera then, correct?

Thanks,

Dan
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:34 PM   #11
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yeah prob that for a lens - but the lower end 8-10K cac lenses are better then you might expect as long as you dont need to avoid breathing.

to be clear - there is 4 channels of audio but only 3 inputs to the cam - 1 in front - 2 in rear and I didnt determine if you could use all three at the same time
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #12
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Not sure what you are asking here - it is a true 1080 full rastor 10 bit camera
I'd understood the 2700 was based on the 2100 front end - which most definately has three 1280x720 chips.

The 2100 will give an upconverted 1080 signal, but it would be incorrect to then call it "true 1080 full rastor", is it not the same with the 2700?

At the moment, if you want variable speed, you realistically have to think along 720p lines with current technology. Now that 1920x1080 screens are becoming virtually standard in TVs of 42" and above, the benefits of 1080 resolution are beginning to be noticed by more and more.

What I think Steve is saying is that with a 2700 you are stuck with 720 resolution, with a PDW700 you can record true 1920x1080 for normal speed shooting, and only have to go to 720 for variable speed.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #13
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that is true about the sensor. But rez is much more then just the pixel sites on the chip - to really make a comparison MTF tests would have to be done on both cameras to compare what they actually record. But the 2700 is full rastor 1080 in the Image processing and output section.

I did perform MTF tests on this cam but am still working at sorting the results and I would only use mine as a comparison to the other cams I was testing since I used self generated charts so its only a relative test - not an absolute one.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #14
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"rez is much more then just the pixel sites on the chip " - well not really, rez is rez, full raster 1080 means 1920 x 1080 on the chip ie 2.2 million pixels. The 2700 is 1920 x 1080 by up-rezzing in camera from 1280x720 pixels on the chips. That's why there is a 3700.
Steve
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Old October 29th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #15
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...however, that's not to say that the PDW700 picutre overall is "better" than the 2700, far from it. The AVC codec on the 2700 is certainly better than MPEG422, and the 10 bit vs 8 bit will also give benefits in dynamic range and subtlety of tones. But the rez would worry me, partly for the way it might show up on larger screens, but also from a commissioning point of view, with some broadcasters also stipulating that material is to be shot 1080. We're still in tricky times, and I'd feel uneasy spending my own money on a 720 camera - when it's provided on a job that's a different matter, it looks like the 2700 will be as much of a cracking machine as the original Varicam.
Steve
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